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Chaparri Reserve

Andean Bear (1)
Andean Bear (Tremarctos ornatus)
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Andean Bear Talk
Chaparri Reserve
Rescuing bears and returning them to the wild
Chaparrí is a 34,412 hectare community-owned and managed private conservation area located in the dry forests of northern Peru.

The reserve was established by the local community of Santa Catalina de Chongoyape in 2000 to protect their natural resources and to allow them to seek sustainable alternatives to reduce poverty and improve standards of living in the area. The area is rich in endemic and threatened species, with the fore-front of the conservation efforts being the protection of white-winged guan, Andean condors, and Andean bears. This is largely done through the work the team does at their ecolodge and animal rescue centre.

Image credit: Google Maps

Resources

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Rescue & Rehabilitation

Our focus on this project is Chaparri’s bear rescue centre. The Andean (or spectacled) bear is the only bear in South America. The Andean bears of Chaparri are part of the last remaining viable population in dry forests. The Andean bear is globally threatened due to habitat loss and persecution.

Chaparri’s specially designed facility is currently home to 7 bears that have been confiscated from illegal captivity by government authorities and passed to Chaparri. Many of these bears arrive undernourished and having lived in incredibly poor conditions. Here, they are fed a balanced diet and get to live in large enclosures within their natural habitat. A recent expansion of this facility means there is now 6 enclosures on site. It is hoped that some of the bears will be able to be reintroduced to their natural habitat. Bears that cannot be reintroduced are maintained in enclosures where the public can visit and learn about the species.

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Ecotourism & Community

Our funding has supported the building of a ticket office, meeting room and exhibition area, education centre, Artisan’s workshop and shop, and the ecolodge. The reserve generates employment for local people. Full time jobs created include park guards, ecotourism guides, lodge staff and working with species recovery programs; as well as agriculture, and labour such as construction and road maintenance.

The reserve entrance fee paid by each visitor is distributed through the community to support the local schools and healthcare, provide community security, cover community administration costs, pay park guards and maintain the reserve. Additionally, projects to develop and implement sustainable alternatives such as organic honey production and native cotton production are being implemented. The reserve also provides opportunity for free enterprise through the selling of souvenirs and foods to visitors. The Chaparri EcoLodge also supports the community by providing training for staff, and funding educational activities within the community, as well as the now famous “ChocolaPava Navidena” Christmas party for all the community children.

Bear Pairs Game

"The spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), also known as the Andean bear or Andean short-faced bear and locally as jukumari (Aymara), ukumari (Quechua) or ukuku, is the last remaining short-faced bear (subfamily Tremarctinae) and the closest living relative to the Florida spectacled bear and giant short-faced bears of the Middle Pleistocene to Late Pleistocene age. Spectacled bears are the only surviving species of bear native to South America, and the only surviving member of the subfamily Tremarctinae."

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